Mario Villalobos

Be Like Water

One of the key people that I looked up to when I first started on this journey five years ago was Bruce Lee, the philosopher. Years before, when I went to college, I bought Bruce Lee: Artist of Life, a book that collected his essays on all facets of life, primarily self-improvement and spirituality. In it, he writes about the beauty of water. He talked about this in an interview from 1971. Basically, water is fluid, and it becomes whatever it’s contained in. One of my biggest problems — and one of my goals to improve upon — is that my lifestyle is rigid. It’s not fluid. It doesn’t flow like water. If something happens where I’m away from my house during the night (I get a girlfriend, I’m out late with friends, or something else), I won’t be able to do half of my habits and routines. I work out, read, and write in this blog at night. Since I wake up so early so I can write in my novel, I need to go to bed early so I can get my sleep. But I’ve packed so much into my days that there’s no room for variation.

I talked to an old friend today who I met during my college days. I’ve known her for over ten years now, which makes me feel old. I expressed this fear to her today, this rigidity in my life, and I started to brainstorm some simple solutions. I’ve been meaning to write these blog entries in the morning, most likely after writing my novel. I’ve always wanted to work out in the mornings, but they’re usually always so packed already that I can never fit it in. And I can read throughout the day, regardless of where I am or what time it is. These are easy because these tasks, although essential and important to me in so many ways, are really my default tasks. They are my big rocks that I have to do every day. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m afraid that my life will turn monotonous. What that means is that I won’t improve upon what I’ve already built because how my days are currently structured aren’t fluid enough to change.

How can I live a more fluid life? I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself (how many times have I written that?). My friend expressed surprise when she said that she can’t believe I’m really trying to write 365 consecutive entries on this blog. “That’s commitment,” she said. I don’t want to skip a day writing, but should I be more lenient in other facets of my life? Can I not work out one day?1 Can I eat out once a week or so and not be so obsessive about my weight? My gut tells me no, and frankly, I don’t want to. I’m afraid if I let go of one thing, I’ll let go of others. Maybe I’ll think drinking is a good idea again. Maybe I’ll try to get back in touch with her in some way. One bad decision will lead to many more, and I know I have more control over myself than that, but that’s my fear.

What exactly am I afraid of? Regressing, maybe. I don’t want to be Sisyphus. I want to better, whatever that entails. And part of finding out is studying water and seeing how I can be more like it.

  1. I finished day 12 of Insanity: the Asylum today. Once I finish this one, I’m planning to do the 30 day Insanity/Insanity: the Asylum hybrid workout, and after that, the 30 day Insanity: the Asylum, Vol. 2 workout. I know, I’m insane. ↩︎